Written on 13 September 2019 by Peter Hughes

SoSA winners blog large

Peter Hughes with the family of Lifetime Achievement Award winner Pasimaca Osment.

I am absolutely delighted to announce the winners of the inaugural Spirit of Service Awards, which were held last night at Te Papa. 

The Spirit of Service Awards celebrate outstanding public services delivering great outcomes for New Zealand. The quality of our finalists was incredibly high – and the whole evening made me proud to be a public servant. It was truly something special. 

Public servants go about their work quietly without expecting any thanks. They work hard for New Zealanders. They come to work wanting to do the best job they can for their communities. The select few who go the extra mile and make a real difference to their country deserve recognition and reward. 

I want to congratulate the Ministry of Health and the five other agencies who teamed up on the Healthy Homes Initiative and won the Prime Minister’s Award. This is awarded to the overall winner and is selected from the winners of the Better Outcomes, Service Excellence, Māori/Crown Relationships, and Leadership in Governance categories.

The Healthy Homes Initiative aims to help reduce hospitalisations by helping to create warm, dry, healthy homes for low-income families. It has helped to do this by delivering more than 46,000 housing interventions to 16,000 families. It’s an amazing achievement.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Healthy Homes Initiative is exactly what public service is all about; delivering great results with heart. 

I would also like to make special mention of Pasimaca Osment, who was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award honours an individual who during his or her lifetime has made an exceptional contribution to the publics and who embodies a spirit of service. 

Ms Osment, better known as “Mama Pam” to prisoners, prison officers, probation staff, and the parole board, was one of the first female prison officers in New Zealand to work in a maximum-security prison – and spent three decades working with prisoners at Paremoremo and Mount Eden.  Her unrelenting positivity and deep commitment to serving her community made her a thoroughly deserving recipient of the Award. 

You can learn more about our winners on the State Services Commission website, and you can find photos and updates from the night on the Spirit of Service Awards Facebook page.

Congratulations to all the award winners!

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